H nixie tube

The Largest nixie tube currently produced in the 21st Century

Story of the H Nixie Tube

Nixie tubes used to come in various sizes and shapes, but their production came to an end in the last century. Their beauty was revived once again by the curiosity and enthusiasm of Dalibor Farný.
This is how the nixie tubes for our regular clocks were created. But the desire to improve and advance has brought special projects to the company. After all, the creation of the dazzling H nixie tube is also attributed to a project.

Piece of art?

“I picked up a phone one day and on the other side was speaking the well known American artist Alfredo Jaar. He shared his idea of his next artwork with me. Ideas immediately started flowing through my veins, as well as the desire to dig into it.”
Beauty of nixie tubes is flowing into the world of art again, this time with a different task. Previously, we worked on an ambitious conceptual piece with the letter-shaped nixie tubes for the SIMULATED project.

A new one-of-a-kind creation

However, the visualisation of the project with our
R nixie tubes was not ideal - the R nixie tube was too small for such a project. Creating something so complex with thousands of hours of development for a single installation would be madness, utterly unimaginable in terms of cost.
That is why from the very beginning, the idea was to improve the H nixie tube and seek ways to reduce the production costs, enabling its production in smaller series repeatedly for future projects.

A solid base

The main task was to maximize the use of the knowledge and proven processes from the production of the R nixie tube.
Glass, sealing material, gas mixture, etc. These were utilized to minimize the occurrence of complications.

Problems never known before

The enlargement brought with it many complications. From small ones like finding the right material for the numbers and grid to prevent bending, to those that troubled us for weeks or even months. It required new preparations, production processes, and an immense amount of our patience during the experiments.

What was the most challenging part?

During the sealing process, two problems arose: glass cracking and oxidation of the numbers and grid.
The second most significant challenge was preventing short circuits between the internal components of the nixie tube. Ensuring 100% reliability and preventing contact between the components became crucial, especially when the tolerance in glass production led to the entire internal structure trembling.

Some details still need to be improved

We still have a bit of a journey ahead of us for peaceful sleep. Just before the final stretch of completing the nixie tubes for Alfredo, problems with tube evacuation emerged. Gas wapors were being released from the plates.
The same material, the same company, the same cleaning process, yet a different outcome.
Our laboratory is on fire in the desire to solve this problem. The process of blackening the plates and achieving their maximum cleanliness are now our priority.

New experiences

A piece to get a notion.
Originally, we wanted the anode plate to be a single-piece stamping. However, that turned out to be unrealistic. Now, we laser cut the side wings and shape them using a bending machine. After blackening, we join them with the base plate.
Surprisingly, this is the simplest way to achieve the desired outcome.

Stronger testing stand

We have set up a new testing stand for these nixie tubes. Why did we do this? The H nixie tubes require a higher current, as the power consumption of a single digit is equivalent to that of our Puri clock itself.

Design of the H nixie tube


Perhaps you are wondering why specifically this shape. It is more about functionality than appearance. The curved shapes are inspired by CRT screens. Their shape has been verified, and we know that it can withstand the internal atmospheric pressure. This characteristic is essential for a nixie tube.


We did not want a nixie tube with a visible socket that disrupted the overall visualization of the project and required an electronic board protruding from a clean panel. It would be difficult to hide it.
Front view focused solely on the digits and glass was ideal. The entire structure and electronics are perfectly concealed.


We aimed to create the largest possible nixie tube without compromising on quality. And that is how this H nixie tube with a digit height of approximately 135 mm came to life.


What is most attractive and fascinating is the same as with the R nixie tube. The actual glow, however, completely engulfs you, dazzles you, and draws you into the flow of changing digits, making you forget about anything else.

The price in comparison to the R nixie tube

The price for producing one H nixie tube is still too high to be used for independent serial production. However, we are working on it so that it might be possible in the future.
Glass for the H nixie tube costs 16 times more than for the R nixie tube.
Metal components are 15 times more expensive.
The evacuation of the H nixie tube is 8 times longer than for the R nixie tube.

What is next for the H?

Our H nixie tube is currently in the testing phase, and we are especially excited about its first installation. If everything goes well, we are also looking forward to producing a few smaller pieces. An exciting development to anticipate is the collaboration with Frank Buchwald, where one H nixie tube will be incorporated into a clock design.

The meaning behind the H mark?

Secret. For now. It is derived from the artwork created for Alfred.

What is Alfredo’s artwork?

As soon as possible, we will show you the artwork and provide all the information. For now, here is a brief overview: It will be an installation featuring the H nixie tubes in a Japanese museum. It will be open this summer. We will add specific dates and a detailed description as soon as the gallery itself reveals what is coming up.

Short look to manufacturing of H tube